Jake Gyllenhaal teams up with director Antoine Fuqua once again after Southpaw back in 2015 for The Guilty, a film that further proves this actor and director relationship is one that really does work well. A remake of the 2018 Danish film of the same name, this is one of the most gripping films of the year.

A demoted police officer (Jake Gyllenhaal) assigned to a call dispatch desk is conflicted when he receives an emergency phone call from a kidnapped woman.
The nature of The Guilty means that it requires solid directing, writing and acting to ensure it becomes an engaging experience for the audience. This is a man sat on the phone in one location for ninety-minutes so it could easily fall into the trap of its audience losing interest however, Nic Pizzolatto's screenplay keeps you on your toes, making sure you listen to the conversations to piece the puzzle together. 

Fuqua's direction of this scenario, a man already stressed out enough with his own problems before one chance call threatens to make him lose it altogether, is excellent. He brings about an almost claustrophobic feel to proceedings as Gyllenhaal's Joe Baylor struggles with feeling confined to a desk rather than being out there trying to help the victim in person. It really does make for one of the more intense films we've had this year.

Jake Gyllenhaal is an actor who just commands the screen with such a strong presence and he puts it to great use in The Guilty, the stress and rush of emotions coming to the fore as he faces a race against time to save a woman's life. It's the vocal performances from those on the other end of the phone that make sure you aren't taken out of the film, Riley Keough and Peter Sarsgaard in particular delivering very good performances. Listen out for Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano too for some laughs.
The Guilty has some tricks up its sleeve that will keep you second guessing throughout and for a film about a man on the phone for ninety-minutes it's thoroughly entertaining. It reminded me a lot of Locke which did the single location with a man on the phone thing really well too. 

Verdict: ★★★★


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